Physicians are responsible for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. Surgeons are also responsible for surgical correction of conditions. Podiatric physicians provide surgical and non-surgical care below the knee. Academic Medicine also includes research.

Training to become a physician requires four years of medical school after undergrad. Training can be through medical schools that grant M.D. or D.O. degrees. Many of those who wish to pursue Academic Medicine often complete an M.D. /Ph.D. programs, which are typically 7-8 years. Residency training is unified in a single match and lasts 3-7 years, depending on the specialty. Post-residency fellowships for further subspecialty training are 1-3 years. Podiatric physicians have separate medical schools that confer the D.P.M. degree, a three-year residency, and possible 1-2 year fellowship training. There are 142 M.D. granting schools, 34 D.O. granting schools, and 9 D.P.M. granting schools in the U.S.

Pre-Professional Society (, a student group at Notre Dame, primarily aims to provide resources to undergraduate students who plan to attend medical school. Not only will this information tell students whether they are "on track" with their academic courses and GPA, but this club will also supply students with information about what they should be doing outside of the classroom to enhance their chances of admission to medical schools. A second purpose of this club is to expose students to all aspects of the medical profession they may not be aware of. 

Job Market: The projected percent change in employment from 2020 to 2030. The average growth rate is 3% (slower than average).

Base Salary: This wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year or $100.00 per hour


Prerequisites vary slightly from school to school, this list will cover the requirements at many schools.

  • Chemistry 5 semesters including Biochemistry
  • General Biology 2 semesters
  • Physics 2 semesters
  • English 1-2 semesters
  • May require Statistics
  • Psychology and Sociology/Anthropology

Preparation Outside the Classroom

A knowledge of the field is vital in the application process. Shadowing or scribing helps you understand the role of the physician on the health care team. Patient contact is also vital – do you like being around those who are ill? Hospital or clinic volunteering can provide this, as can EMT, CNA, patient care technician, or medical assisting work. Health care is a life of service and medical programs expect to see a consistent interest in the well-being of others, particularly vulnerable groups like those in poverty, members of underserved groups, asylum seekers, those with disabilities, etc. Medicine is a profession that requires continuous intellectual curiosity and independent learning.


If you are planning to apply to a Health Profession and would like to utilize the Center, the application process begins in November of every year. November is when we have our ‘Kick Off’ meeting for all Juniors & Seniors (undergrads at Notre Dame) that plan to apply to a Health Profession during that particular cycle. The required forms are released before winter break. These forms are required to be turned in by the end of January and a one on one Pre Application Interview will be scheduled after the forms have been received. All of which are required to receive a committee letter from one of the Pre Health Advisors. Each year the demand increases, the Pre Health Advisors schedule will be completely full with Pre App Interviews starting January to May. It is in your best interests to follow each step on our website (Junior or Senior year during your time at Notre Dame) to make sure you are guaranteed an interview. If the required steps are not completed inside of the deadline, a committee letter is not guaranteed. Committee letters are valued by medical schools. The Center will only provide a letter for current students (Juniors & Seniors of Notre Dame) and Alumni of Notre Dame who participate in our application process in a timely manner.

The application process with our Center takes approximately 15 months. Applications (letter of evaluations & committee letter, uploaded as 1 packet) are submitted through one (or more) of the central applications services. Public medical colleges (M.D. and D.O.), Texas uses TMDSAS. M.D. schools (other than TX public) use AMCAS. Osteopathic (D.O.) medical schools use AACOMAS. Podiatric schools use AACPMAS.

We offer Juniors and Seniors of Notre Dame planning to apply, a class that is held every Spring called SCPP 40001-01 Preparing for Health Professions, that will guide each student through the entire application process.

You should apply to 12-16 programs.


The Association of American Medical Colleges has a great deal of information about preparing for medical school and the MCAT.

Information about Osteopathic medicine and training can be found at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and the American Osteopathic Association. You can find a mentor podiatric physician through a service of the American Association of the Colleges of Podiatric Medicine.